Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wingate University at #5 Albany State University - GAMEDAY NOTES

Wingate University at #5 Albany State University
ASU Coliseum, Albany, Ga. Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 (1 p.m.)

TICKETS: $15 (adults), $5 (students)


Wingate: 9-2 overall, 6-1 SAC (2009: 7-3 overall, 5-2 SAC) #5 Albany State: 10-0 overall, 9-0 SIAC (2009: 8-3 overall, 7-2 SIAC)

Wingate head coach Joe Reich was named the 2010 SAC Coach of the Year. Reich is the all-time winningest football coach in the school’s senior college history. He is 66-42 overall in 10 Wingate seasons. Reich and the Bulldogs (9-2 overall) won the SAC regular season championship and qualified for the NCAA Division II play-offs for the first time in school history. Mike White is the head football coach at Albany State University. In 2010, White led the Golden Rams to a 10-0 overall record and a SIAC regular season title.

Last game – Wingate 63, #23 Morehouse 41: The nation’s ninth-ranked defense was no match for the explosive Wingate University offense, as the Bulldogs piled up 614 yards of total offense in a 63-41 victory over the Maroon Tigers of Morehouse College in NCAA Division II play-off action Saturday afternoon at Irwin Belk Stadium and John R. Martin Field. Wingate redshirt junior quarterback Cody Haffly (Locust Grove, Ga.) threw for 477 yards and seven touchdowns on the afternoon.

Last game – Wingate 63, #23 Morehouse 41 (con’t): The Bulldogs improve to 9-2 overall with their first-ever NCAA play-off victory in their first post-season appearance. Morehouse completes the 2010 campaign 8-3 overall.

Haffly used all of his targets on the afternoon. Bulldog redshirt senior wide receiver Delric Ellington had 13 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Classmate Perry Floyd had six catches for 159 yards and three scores, while sophomore wide receiver Chris Bowden had seven catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.

Morehouse posted 471 total offensive yards. Maroon Tiger sophomore running back David Carter had 167 yards on 29 carries. He scored two touchdowns for the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference members. Morehouse compiled 277 yards rushing on 56 carries.

The Maroon Tigers led 27-21 after a wild first half. Morehouse junior defensive lineman Mykel Green returned a Wingate fumble 39 yards for a touchdown to give the visitors a 14-7 lead with 3:29 to play in the opening frame. Morehouse senior place kicker Ian Mullen hit a 41-yard field goal to put the Maroon Tigers up 17-7 at the 2:02 mark of the first quarter.

Floyd, Haffly and the Bulldogs answered as the duo connected for back-to-back second quarter touchdowns to give the hosts a 21-17 advantage midway through the stanza. Morehouse sophomore quarterback Byron Ingram responded with a 19-yard touchdown run on the next possession, while Mullen nailed a 35-yard field goal at the half time buzzer to account for the Maroon Tigers’ halftime margin.

Wingate outscored Morehouse 21-0 in the third quarter to take control. Bulldog redshirt senior running back Nelson Woods scored on a one-yard run to help the South Atlantic Conference champions take the lead for good following the extra point by redshirt senior place kicker RP Lopez.

Haffly found Bowden for back-to-back touchdowns (18 yards and 23 yards) to give Wingate a 42-27 lead in the waning moments of the third quarter. The first score was facilitated by a Morehouse goal line fumble. Both teams fumbled four teams each and lost three each Saturday.

The two teams basically traded scores in the fourth quarter. After a Carter TD pulled the Maroon Tigers within eight, the Bulldogs went three and out. Morehouse fumbled on the next possession and Wingate senior linebacker Ben Hinson returned the miscue 25 yards for a touchdown and a 49-34 Bulldog advantage at the 11:37 mark.

 Morehouse cut the deficit to eight one more time, as senior quarterback William Brack found senior wide receiver Robert Darby-McNair with a seven-yard touchdown pass after a nine-play drive. Mullen’s PAT made the score 49-41 with 8:39 to play.

Haffly finished his record-setting day with fourth quarter touchdown passes to Ellington (16 yards) and Floyd (37 yards). One of 24 regional candidates for the Harlon Hill Trophy, Haffly set a Wingate record (and tied a SAC mark) with his seven TD passes. He had a 40-yard trick play reception on a pass from redshirt senior wide receiver Philip Thomas in the first half.

On defense, Wingate redshirt senior linebacker Greg Harmon had 13 tackles (nine solo, four assists), two quarterback hurries, two pass break-ups and one fumble recovery. Harmon and three teammates were first team All-SAC selections earlier this week. Redshirt senior cornerback Justin Squirewell had 11 tackles with eight solo stops. Bulldog redshirt junior Jack Taylor had a game-high four tackles for loss Saturday.

Albany State vs. Wingate series:
The NCAA play-off game Saturday will represent the first-ever meeting between the Golden Rams and the Bulldogs. Wingate has played four contests against SIAC members: Morehouse (once), Kentucky State (twice) and Benedict (once). The Bulldogs and the KSU Thorobreds split those two contests, while Wingate lost a 34-33 heartbreaker at Benedict to conclude the 1998 season.

The South Atlantic Conference is 23-6 lifetime against members of the SIAC. In the NCAA play-offs, the SAC holds a 7-0 record against the SIAC. Carson-Newman and Catawba have both defeated Fort Valley State and Albany State in the post-season, while Tusculum and Newberry own play-off victories over the ASU Golden Rams as well.

Curiel earns ESPN Academic All-America® honors: Wingate senior offensive lineman Ralph Curiel has been named to the ESPN Academic All-America® football first team (college division), selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Curiel earns Academic All-America® honors for the first time in his career. He is the second Wingate football student-athlete to receive Academic All- America® laurels. Defensive end Frank Marino was a first team pick in 2006.

Earlier this month, Curiel earned ESPN Academic All-District III football first team honors. District III (college division) includes all non-NCAA Division I schools (Division II, III and NAIA) in Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North and South Carolina. Curiel sports a 3.91 GPA as a History major.

“Ralph is disciplined, diligent and hard every aspect of his life,” Wingate head coach Joe Reich says. “His structure and focus are paramount to his success. Ralph does not allow outside distractions to deter him from what he wants to accomplish. He is one of the best student-athletes I have ever coached.”

Curiel is a two-year starter at right guard on the Wingate offensive line. This year, the Bulldogs are second in the South Atlantic Conference and seventh in the nation in passing offense (335.4 yards per game). Wingate is second in the SAC and 14th in the nation in total offense (452.6 yards per game). During Curiel’s first year as a starter, Wingate averaged 395.3 total offense yards per game in 2009. The 2009 Bulldogs were second in the SAC in scoring offense (33.6) and passing offense (241.1).

In his two years, Curiel has blocked for nine 100-plus yard performances by Bulldog running backs. The Bulldog O-Line helped redshirt senior running back Nelson Woods rush for 1000 yards for the third time in his career this season. Entering the Albany State contest, Woods has 1144 yards on 238 carries.

Curiel and the Bulldog O-Line helped Wingate redshirt junior quarterback Cody Haffly become a regional finalist for the 2010 Harlon Hill Trophy. Haffly is 254-of-407 for 3649 yards and 39 touchdowns this year. Curiel is a SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll student.

Statistics: The Bulldogs continue to break statistical records. A Harlon Hill Trophy regional finalist, Bulldog quarterback Cody Haffly is 254-of-407 with a new SAC record 39 touchdown passes this season. His 3649 passing yards break the Wingate record for single season passing yards, previously held by Brian Baughman in 1999. Baughman was also a Harlon Hill Trophy regional candidate.
All-American Perry Floyd has caught 66 passes for 1137 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. His 1137 receiving yards equals Mike Ragin’s school record set in 1993. Floyd extends his single season TD reception record with his three scores Saturday. The 2009 All-American had 348 all-purpose yards against the Morehouse Maroon Tigers. Floyd holds Wingate’s single season record for all-purpose yards with 2226 yards this season

Ten Bulldogs earn All-SAC honors: The Wingate football team placed 10 players on the 2010 All-South Atlantic Conference teams. The Bulldogs had four first-team selections and six second-team picks. Wingate redshirt senior All-American Perry Floyd earned first team honors as a return specialist and second team laurels as a wide receiver.

Joining Floyd on the All-SAC first team defense is redshirt senior linebacker Greg Harmon. Wingate’s representatives on the All-SAC first team offense is redshirt senior running back Nelson Woods and redshirt junior offensive lineman Mike Arndt.

Bulldog redshirt senior cornerback Terrence Stephens and redshirt sophomore safety Robert Fletcher represent Wingate on the All-SAC second team defense. The Bulldogs have four student-athletes on the All-SAC second team offense: Floyd (as a wide receiver), redshirt junior quarterback Cody Haffly, redshirt senior wide receiver Delric Ellington and redshirt senior place kicker RP Lopez.

Pro football: Wingate currently has three players in the National Football League and the Canadian Football League. David Jones (Jaguars) and Kenwin Cummings (Jets) represent the Bulldogs in the NFL. John Bowman (Montreal) is playing in the CFL. Bowman and his Montreal Alouettes won the 2009 Grey Cup, the Canadian equivalent of the Super Bowl. Bowman and his Montreal Alouette teammates will compete for the 2010 Grey Cup championship Sunday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Donald Brown (CFL, Winnipeg) and Ben Benshoof (UFL, Hartford, Conn.) have also spent time on pro rosters during the 2010 campaign.

Albany State: Albany State head coach Mike White was named the SIAC’s Coach of the Year for the fifth time in 2010. He began his career with the Golden Rams in 2000. ASU junior quarterback Stanley Jennings was named the SIAC Offensive MVP. Jennings joined Wingate’s Haffly as a Harlon Hill Trophy regional finalist.

Albany State has won 14 SIAC titles; the 2010 crown is the Golden Rams’ first trophy since 2006. ASU has advanced to the NCAA Division II play-offs 12 times, including the last seven years in a row.
NCAA statistics: The Albany State defense is number one in the NCAA Division II in three categories: total defense (205.2 yards per game), scoring defense (9.9 points per game) and pass efficiency defense (87.4). The Golden Rams are second in rushing defense (61.2 yards per game), fourth in tackles for loss (8.8), fifth in sacks (3.4) and eighth in pass defense (144 yards per game).

ASU senior linebacker Jacob Hardwick is fifth in the NCAA in sacks (1.05) and fifth in tackles for loss (1.90). Senior defensive back Prathon Wilkerson is tied for seventh in the nation with his 0.60 interceptions per game. On the offensive side, Jennings is second in the NCAA Division II charts with his 170.6 pass efficiency rating.

For Wingate, Floyd leads the SAC and charts third in the NCAA Division II with his 202.4 all-purpose yards per game. Floyd is seventh in the NCAA with his SAC-best 16.3 punt return average. Haffly is number one in the SAC and sixth in the NCAA with his 164.43 pass efficiency rating. Wingate is seventh in the NCAA (and second in the SAC) in passing offense with its 335.4 yards per game average. The Bulldogs are fourth in the NCAA in passing efficiency (165.1) and sixth in punt returns (16.6); both totals lead the SAC.

Did you know? Wingate is ranked number three among NCAA Division II Academic All-America® producing schools in the 2000’s with 37 honorees during this millennium. Only Pittsburg State (Kan.) University and Truman State (Mo.) University have produced more Academic All-America® honorees during this time period. Wingate’s 46 Academic All-America® honorees (lifetime) is tops among all SAC schools.

Wake up with Wingate (Bulldog Club Breakfast): Join the Wingate University Bulldog Club Wednesday mornings at 8 a.m. at Hilltop Fish Fare and Steakhouse (1602 E. Roosevelt Blvd. Monroe, NC 28112) for Wake up with Wingate. Listen to head football coach Joe Reich and other coaches discuss the past week and the week ahead in Wingate athletics. This is a great chance to enjoy a Dutch treat breakfast and learn more about Bulldog sports. For more information, call Bill Nash at 704-233-8121.

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